Each month we use this column to spotlight one of the committees (or groups) that help make Shir Ami special. This month’s column is written by Milt Palmer, Building and Grounds Committee.
BUILDING AND GROUNDS
The Building and Grounds Committee's scope includes both the inside and outside of Shir Ami and also the upkeep of the front and back yards. That covers a lot of territory!
Our beloved building is over a hundred years old and like many oldsters, it ain’t giving away exact age. Unfortunately, age has its drawbacks. Things start to break down! For example; we just completed a major project to the back of the building to repair termite damage from many years of neglect. This work depleted our cash reserves by about $15,000.
We are now in the process of determining what other work is needed for bringing Shir Ami up to snuff and we welcome all of your suggestions for consideration!
On the positive side, Tom Spitzer with the help of Sean Lange, has started a vegetable garden in our back yard and we can expect to see some of the fruits (and veggies) of their labors before summer. Also, Peter Lewis is about to begin construction of a lovely patio area adjacent to the newly repaired back of our building which will allow us to more comfortably spread out and utilize that area, weather permitting. After all, it will stop raining someday!
On a more serious note, we are creating the patio area on a leap of faith. We feel that it is required for our congregation grow comfortably, although the $4,000 cost is not in our current budget. We are hoping that some of our congregants with the means will contribute beyond their usual dues to help defray the expense! Contributions can be sent to Congregation Shir Ami via our usual mail and online routes.
Our annual Congregational meeting will include a robust discussion of our building, its current status, and an exploration of options. Meanwhile, we feel this patio will increase the usability of the facility and maintain the flexibility for future uses as they are identified. If you have ideas, suggestions, or insights about the building and grounds, space needs, or efficient ways to utilize our space, please don't keep them to yourself! Contact me at Facilities@CongShirAmi.org.